It’s not luck. It’s choice.


When we exclaim how lucky someone is, there’s a lot of backstory we’re ignoring.

We all know people who have all the privilege and blessings in the world who haven’t made much of them.

We all know people whose backgrounds make our stomach turn but who have managed to create beautiful, meaningful, wholehearted lives.

Call it soul choices.

But don’t call it luck.

The majority of life doesn’t just randomly happen to us without our having any say. And the things that do feel like they’re “happening to us” are opportunities to make a choice.

We come into this world with a certain set of circumstances, for sure. Some circumstances are awesome. Some circumstances are heartbreaking.

Why and how we come into the world with the circumstances we do remains a mystery.

But there’s nothing mysterious about our ability to choose what we make of those circumstances.

We choose who we spend time with. We choose how to spend our time. We choose what we focus on. We choose what we think about. We choose to listen to ourselves or not. We choose to take care of ourselves or not. We choose to put ourselves out there or not. We choose to love or not.

Our lives are largely the sum of the decisions we’ve made. {Tweet it.}

Our lives are largely the sum_Tweet


While there’s no such thing as a wrong decision, there is such thing as choosing our perspective, our actions, and even our thoughts.

Next time you think to yourself, “I have the worst luck!” consider this:

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. You can care for those hours like the precious commodity they are. Or you can waste them.

Everyone has the ability to choose how they see a sucky situation. You can choose to see the blessings and lessons. Or you can choose to only see the suck.

Everyone has circumstances they wouldn’t have consciously chosen if they’d been given the choice. You can make the most of them. Or you can make the worst of them.

A “charmed life” – which to me means a life of ease and fulfillment that belies financial status or worldly success – gets that way because of the choices the person living it has made, not because that person is simply “lucky.”

It’s not luck. It’s choice.

Choose wisely!


Over To You:

How have your choices shaped your life?  Which choices are you going to make next?  Join me in the comments below!


  • Beautifully said Kate. Sometimes the most difficult choices I’ve made in my life have resulted in the greatest changes for the better…it doesn’t always seem that way when you’re in the ‘thick of it’, but if the choice is made with a loving intent for the highest good of all concerned – we are capable of reaching deeper understanding and the freedom to express our love more authentically in the world.

    This was an inspired post – thank you for the reminder – to choose wisely!

    Love Michele

  • Julia Metcalf

    Are you saying poor people are that way because of their poor decisions? That is shaming. Poor people are poor because they live in a country where the wealthy make it on the poor people’s broken backs.

    I am a librarian in a poor poor area. No industry. No public transportation. No hope. It’s all I can do to stand the smell of some of my patrons. They have so much sulfur in the ground water that they cannot shower or cook with it. They have no choice.

    Please have compassion on them, us, and don’t say that again. I am living under the poverty level not because I want to or because of my poor choices. I have a Master’s Degree and my daughter, a Fullbright Scholar, is finishing her Doctorate. What poor choices did I make? We are not stupid.

    • Kate Northrup

      Julia – I’m absolutely not blaming poor people for their circumstances. I have tremendous compassion for everyone who’s circumstances are not those that they would have chosen. I note in my post that it’s a mystery why we are born into the circumstances we are or why things happen to us that we wouldn’t have chosen. And then the opportunity comes with the perspective we have and what we choose to do with our circumstances. You are a great example of this. It sounds as though rather than feeling defeated by your circumstances you sought an education and are doing everything you can to give your daughter wonderful opportunities to create a beautiful future.

  • I quit one of my part time jobs recently after being so unhappy and overwhelmed and not feeling appreciated with it for a long time. It changed so much for me and I feel so much happier now. I can now focus on my private Thai practice and my new online business and beautiful things are happening and opportunities are arriving all of a sudden. My next choice will be to keep putting myself out there and reach people that I can help. Thank you for a beautiful post, Kate

  • Faith Angela

    AHHHH – and the truth shall set you free — needed to feel this message of “It is a CHOICE” again. there are definite moments in my life that I “forget” that “it is a CHOICE” —

    What I find so refreshing is to see and feel the expansion of love. The vibration continues. Thank you.

  • Wow Kate I made a vlog about this exact topic last week! (Haven’t posted it yet but this has given me the motivation to.)

    So often I hear ‘you’re so lucky’. But you know what? Luck has very little to do with it.

    I come from a relatively poor family (the pure fact that we are communicating via the internet means that NONE of us here are truly poverty-stricken in the wide scheme of things, but, you know, relatively speaking….)

    At 18 I found myself expecting a baby with a guy who at the time I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Turns out I was wrong! And when my son was 18 months old, at age 19, I found myself a single teen mama.

    I was in social housing, but I got myself a job, and I worked hard – my Son went in to nursery and I drove over a two hour commute each day. And I kept working hard. And I had some falls along the way (emotionally, spiritually, physically!) but I persevered and I ‘made it’ as a Human Resources Director for a firm in the UK on a very good salary by the time I was 30.

    Then I did something really ‘mad’! I quit my job at 34. My now husband (who I met along the way!), had also left service from the Royal Marines (UK equiv to US Marines) they year before.

    We set out on a new path. We started again with very little. But we did it by CHOICE. Now we live in Spain, in the middle of an olive grove, in a place that has 330 days of sunshine a year! We run a very successful online business and my Son is 16 and thriving here.

    None of that had anything to do with luck.

    So happy that you wrote about this. Thank you :) xo

  • Lesley

    Perfect read for me this morning, Kate. Thank you.

  • Aoife Kavanagh

    I loved this! Really empowering :) thanks for a dose of sunshine Kate!

  • Donita

    As a 21 year old momma struggling in college with a 3 and 5 year old, I read Maya Angelou’s quote; “I did then, what I knew then; when I knew better, I did better”. It has stuck with me for over two decades – it helped me deal with shame and less than ideal choices I made “then”.

    Thank you so much for this post, because even though I know what I know now; it’s a great reminder that I can make choices that are good for ME – especially since my kiddos are 22, 28 & 30.


  • As they say it is not what happens to you but rather how you react to it that matters. You may not be able to control the event that is happening but what you do have control over is how you deal with it – and that is your choice. And happiness is a choice and being optimistic is choice, so is being miserable. As you get older, you have the benefit of seeing how those choices have effected the outcome of your life. For example, I went through a difficult divorce but remained hopeful and positive and came out on the other side with a wonderful new relationship within two years, and yes we are still happily married. A friend of my has remained bitter and negative about her ex and is still single years later. You are right Kate, I was not lucky, I made better choices :)

  • Pam

    Today I watched the intro video for this class again. I did this class last year, and this year realized that, though I keep my wealth corner very spritual and clutter free, right next to it was my very tidy laundy baske with cover.
    I did not consider what is beneath the surface in the past. Basket moved, abundance corner free.

  • Hi Kate,

    I LOVE this blog! It’s so true. People can say ‘oh you’re so lucky’, and they would be right to a large extent, but it is SO about the choices we make, day in day out. And some of the choices at the time can seem to be the wrong one, but they ALL lead us to where we are today.

    I”m in the midst of a big leap in my business and it is so easy to get caught up in the drama or scariness of it all. But when I stop, I can see how amazing things are and that, what I’ve longed for to happen is now happening!

    So I would now say to people – keep on choosing what you want as you’ll probably end up getting it!

    Thanks x

    • Kate Northrup

      I love the way you articulated that every choice we’ve made leads us to where we are today, even if it felt “wrong” at the time. We can never know what would have happened with a different choice which is why the choices we made had to be the right ones because I think we’re always exactly where we’re meant to be!

  • Alice Parvin

    Thank you for sharing this. I often share with my clients that they are always at choice. Each choice carries it’s own positive results or consequences. Sometimes, the choice does not seem clear and I would say most of those decisions are the ones that yield the biggest changes for me.
    I have recently found Myself trusting my inuition full out and the result has been making some very tough choices…ie ending a long term relationship with someone I loved but their being in my life was not serving me or feeding my soul. Getting real about finances and of course, taking the leap into B-School.(that sounds like an oxymoron given I just invested 2k in B-School! )
    In the long run, I believe that choice will a wise one.
    Love all the support from you, Mike and all the wise, wonderful humans in this group.

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